VATICAN CITY, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Pope John Paul II created 30 new cardinals in a colorful Vatican ceremony Tuesday, adding to the ranks of those who will choose his successor.
Dressed in scarlet robes, the cardinals, received their red hats after swearing to defend the Roman Catholic faith in a ceremony called a "consistory," which take place about every three years.
At the ceremony on St Peter's Square, each scarlet-robed cardinal knelt before the Pope before receiving his hat or "biretta" -- the symbol of his high office.
The new appointments bring the body that will elect a new Pope to a record 135.
"The most important aspect (of the cardinal's work) is electing a new pope, and we don't know whether that will be in one month or five years," Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, who was elevated Tuesday, told the BBC.
Ghana and Sudan got their first ever cardinals and Nigeria now has two cardinal electors, while the first ever cardinal from the tribal community of India also received a red hat, as did archbishops from Vietnam, Poland, the United States and Guatemala.